Monday, February 11, 2013
Are you all still eating light and doing more exercise to keep up with your New Year Resolutions? Oh, it's just a friendly reminder! You don’t need to feel guilty if you have already forgotten all about the resolutions. After all, I don’t really make resolutions anymore since years ago. Besides, eating well and exercising more should be a second nature and a daily habit... not just for the first month of the year. Yeah, sadly, that’s the length of time that most people (including me) really follow through with their new year resolutions. So, let’s make eating well a year round thing, and not just for the sake of resolution, shall we? By the way, eating well doesn’t mean scarifying flavors either, that is a big-mistake/wrong-impression on eating healthy. May I introduce you to this scrumptious Roasted Shrimp Salad with Thyme and Lemon Frico? Don’t worry, I will still post sweets and treats recipes that I made. I believe moderation is the key on those, don’t you agree?
Back to this salad, have you ever tried a frico? It is a (Italian) cheese crisp. It consists of a wafer of shredded cheese, baked or fried until crisp (I baked). The cheeses often used are Montasio, Parmesan or Mozzarella. I used Parmigiano-Reggiano, and jazz it up with some fresh lemon zest and fresh thyme leaves. They make the best garnish on soup, salad, stew, or anything that you love to add a nice salty crunch. Besides looking gorgeous, the frico tastes wonderful as well. It’s salty and cheesy; the thyme leaves add a hint of earthiness and the lemon zest brightens up the whole crisp. The texture is super crunchy, yet, melt in your mouth the moment you bite into one. It’s magical.
Let me show you how I make them.
1) Grade some Parmigiano-Reggiano
2) Add lemon zest and thyme leave and mix well
3) Spoon them onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Slightly flatten them with the back of a spoon.
4) Bake at 375 degree F for 8 to 10 minutes and let them cool on the pan over a wiring rack until cool.
Super simple to prepare, isn’t it? The flavor is complex and beautiful. They paired well with this Roasted Shrimp Salad. In this salad, I used juicy and crispy Fuji Apples, roasted zucchinis that are tender, and crunchy roasted shrimps and super rich and creamy avocados. The dressing is simple, a little lemon juice, agave, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Japanese Mayo; yes, that’s all you needed and that’s all I used. You don’t want too much Mayo in your dressing because as you toss the salad together, the ripped avocado will break up a little and creates the most creamy “dressing”, hence the slightly greenish color of the salad.
You can serve this salad on a plate as an entree, or in a small cup as an elegant appetizer. Either way, your eyes and tummy will thank you. And oh, you’re very welcome. Until next time, take care and let’s all eat better together.
Roasted Shrimp Salad with Thyme and Lemon Frico:
Ingredients for the Frico:
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Ingredients for the salad:1 pound jumbo shrimps (I used 21-25), peeled and deveined
1 medium zucchini, dice into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 small Fuji apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 California avocados, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 fire-roasted red bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Japanese Mayo
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave
To Prepare the Frico:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In a small mixing bowl, gently toss Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and thyme leaves together. Spoon eight 1-tablespoon of cheese mixture onto the silpat and gently tap cheese mixture with the back of the spoon until flat. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the baking sheet on a wiring rack until the frico are cooled and firm, about 5 minutes.
To Prepare the Salad:
Increase oven temperature to 400 degree F.
Line a large baking sheet with foil. In a medium mixing bowl, add the shrimps, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, lemon zest, thyme, kosher salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss until seasonings are evenly coated.
In a small mixing bowl, add the zucchini, the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Place the shrimps on one side of the baking pan and zucchini on the other. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the shrimps are cooked through and the zucchini are crisp-tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, gently toss the Fuji apples, avocados, bell pepper, cooled zucchini, Mayo, lemon juice and agave until well combined. Taste it and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Place salad on serving plates or serving glasses, top with roasted shrimps, frico and enjoy!